Shooting the rare PPD-34 sub gun: The first Soviet SMG (VIDEOS)

Russian firearms designer Vasily Degtyaryov had a lot of notable designs under his belt as well as a few that didn’t quite catch on. Showing off one of these “also-rans” is the Kalashnikov Concern with an incredibly rare early model PPD-34. You do know the PPD-34, yes?

In 1934, Degtyaryov, then 54, crafted a handy 7.62x25mm submachine gun, or in Russian, a “Pistolet-Pulemyot.” Using a hardwood stock, 25-round coffin-style box mag (or 71-round drum), and a stubby 10.7-inch barrel surrounded by a vented guard, his open-bolt blowback PPD-34 (the “D” for Degtyaryov and the “34 for the year adopted) became the Red Army’s first production machine gun. Notably, the gun came out a few years before the German MP38 and just after the German MP28/II, which it greatly resembles.

It was not well loved and only about 1,500 were made before the gun was tweaked in 1938 as the PPD-34/38, and given an even more in-depth redesign to transform it into the PPD-40.

While the Soviets used millions of “burp” guns in WWII, most wound up being the much more popular (and cheaper) PPSh-41 designed by Georgy Shpagin and PPS-43 by Alexey Sudayev. In all, just 90,000 PPDs of all types were made and they are incredibly rare in any variant. For reference, a late model (Ishevsk, 1941) PPD-40 sold last year by RIAC for $28K.

As for Degtyaryov, he also invented the RPD machine gun, the very Lewis-gun-like DP-28 LMG, and the PTRD-41 anti-tank rifle, all of which are sometimes still encountered in Third World places wherever milsurp munitions are in front-line service.

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